An additional transport and sorting system has come into operation to process baggage arriving, departing and transiting via Pier A. The new technology and shorter distances ensure a better transfer time for hold baggage. The new system is directly connected to the sorting system in the airport terminal itself. It is to be brought into use above all to cope with the pressure during peak times. Having completed the intensive test period which lasted some time, it has gradually been taken into operational use over the past few weeks.
The new system, which is similar to that found at Munich airport, was ordered from the firm Crisplant (Beumer Group) in 2001. Completion of the project was temporarily deferred by the crisis, but was achieved this year after a number of adjustments and improvements had been made.
The new circuit under Pier A relieves the current baggage system beneath the terminal building of much of the baggage. The extra manoeuvring room that this creates means that there are fewer delays and stoppages with baggage handling at all destinations, and not just for Pier A.
In addition, from now on baggage for flights from Pier A no longer has to be carried across the tarmac. It covers the distance of 200 metres between the terminal and Pier A through underground tunnels, at a speed of 22 km/h, arriving close to the aircraft. The pier has delivery and pick-up carousels near the aircraft so that transport between the baggage system and the aircraft has been drastically cut. Baggage that is transferred between two aircraft at Pier A can now be dealt with on site in just a few minutes, saving a great deal of time.
The risk of baggage being lost or damaged is further reduced thanks to this modern system. By conveying the baggage in a bin with a transponder, each item can be traced at all times, virtually ruling out the risk that baggage may be lost or misdirected.
The system represents an investment of EUR 40 million. This baggage system creates the capacity needed to support Brussels Airport in its growth as a European hub, and prepares Pier A for the more intensive role it will be called upon to play in the coming years with the construction of the connector building and Pier A West. Brussels Airport is thus strengthening its position as the airport for the capital of Europe and as an international hub between Belgium, Europe and the rest of the world.